Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Support the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

It's been ages since I've posted, so this may be a tree falling in an empty forest, but it can't hurt:

Next April, I will be running in the Country Music Half Marathon in Nashville, Tennessee, as part of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training (depending on how the training goes (so far I'm up to 5 miles), I may run the whole 26. As this is my first distance event ever, I'm asking for your support based just on the half marathon).

While there have been tremendous advances in the treatment of blood cancers, leukemia is still the leading cause of cancer deaths among children under 15, and young men and women up to age 35. Multiple myeloma, a related blood cancer, still has a 5-year survival rate of only 30%, and disproportionately affects African-Americans. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's mission is to cure these diseases, and to improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

I am running the race in honor of my dear friend and mentor, Ron Burton, who died of multiple myeloma in 2003. Ron devoted every day of his life to the service of others. The Ron Burton Training Village, a camp for inner-city children that he founded singlehandedly twenty years ago, continues his mission of giving hope and opportunity to kids who otherwise have none. When Ron passed, still in the prime of his life, the world lost a force for good, years before it should have.

Please help me emulate Ron's devotion to others, and hasten the day when these vile blood cancers lose their power to cause suffering and death. As you consider your year-end charitable giving, I urge you to add Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to your roster of worthy causes.You may donate online at the following link:, at any time between now and the race next April (get it to me by end of exams for a tax deduction this year!). As I train, and run the race, Ron's example and your generosity will give me strength. On behalf of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and those whose lives they touch, thank you.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Jesus Told Me So
Gregg Easterbrook suggests that in order to avoid civil libertarian objections to government-sponsored displays of the Ten Commandments, the Roy Moores of the world should simply display "the Six Commandments, enunciated by Jesus himself." In Easterbrook's view, this avoids any objection from the ACLU, because Jesus' abridgment of the Decalogue omits all Commandments having reference to the Deity.

Easterbrook misconceives the objections to the 10 Commandments -- it is not their substantive content (although certainly that too is problematic with respect to the first four) to which the ACLU objects. Rather, it is their putative authorship and the government's seeming advocacy of that divine provenance that offends the Establishment Clause. Simply imagine Easterbrook's suggestion is taken up by Roy Moore after he becomes governor of Alabama, and he is deposed in the ensuing lawsuit:

Q: Governor Moore, how did you choose the Six Commandments for the State House display?

A: I did not choose them. These six are the Commandments chosen by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

That is not to say that the Sextalogue -- or even the Decalogue itself -- is a dead bang loser, given the confused state of Establishment Clause jurisprudence. (We'll know more in June, when the Supreme Court hands down its judgment in McCreary County v. ACLU (link to ACLU merits brief) in June). But whatever the outcome of the case, Easterbrook's Sextalogue idea simply does not meet the objections to the Decalogue, much less overcome them.